Since I started writing this blog, I've looked back at each year and put a list together of my favorite rooms -- the spaces that wowed me and inspired me. What I consistently picked out from 2011 to 2013 were rooms that fit my own personal aesthetic -- neutral rooms, with natural textures and quiet palettes. In 2014, the rooms I liked, though still neutral, all had black with brass accents. However, this year, when I went through the earmarked pages in my stacks of magazines, I noticed a shift.
This year I loved design that was bold and oversized -- rooms with a statement. I applaud the designers that pushed the envelope and took risks.
Here they are:
10. Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz. This basement room in a brownstone in Boston's South End, is edgy and colorful against the painted brick and exposed beams. But the painting, by Zach Collins, an art student at Skidmore College, is arresting, and downright cool.
photo by Bruce Buck | New England Home, January/February 2015
9. Melissa Warner Rothblum and Julie Kleiner. The turquoise tile in this master bathroom in a San Francisco home sets the tone for a colorful bathroom with a circular motif repeated in the yellow window treatment and the unique Etsy stool.
photo by Karyn R. Millet | House Beautiful, November 2015
8. Cortney Bishop. Palm trees inspired my own fabric design for "Royal Blvd," and were big on the fashion scene as well. So, when I saw this twin bedroom in a cottage on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, it felt retro-surf with the Cole & Son's Palm Leaves wallpaper on the back focal wall.
photo by Peter Frank Edwards | Coastal Living, November 2015
6 & 7. Jill Goldberg. Jill is one of my favorite Boston designers. I love her shop, Hudson, and her unparalleled style. One of her trademarks is oversized lighting, and mixing traditional forms with modern and vintage. The suburban home she transformed (below) shows how she used scale and color to pop the kitchen with a hand-painted drum pendant, and a gorgeous custom porcelain lamp in the front entrance.
photos by Michael J. Lee | New England Home, September/October 2015
5. Lisa Sherry. Having participated in the Junior League of Boston's 2012 Show House, I have an appreciation for the effort and collaboration that goes into show house design. Lisa Sherry's lounge in the 2015 Junior League of High Point Designer Show House, reflects all that I love with natural textural elements in an edited all-white room. The statement piece is the oversized photograph taken by Lisa's husband.
photo by Peter Rymwid | Traditional Home, October 2015
4. Christina Murphy Pisa. Besides the Urban Electric pendant, which I've always coveted, the use of yellow is the bold statement that makes this room in design blogger, Sarah Rose's West Village home, stand out. What makes me love this room even more, is the use of a friend, and another one of my favorite Boston designer's (Mally Skok) fabric "Samode" on the roman shades and lumbar pillow.
3. Caitlin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes of Popham Design. In 2013, Popham Design's founders, Cailtin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes', Marrakech home was featured in Elle Decor's September 2013 issue, and their horizontally-striped hallway and tiled dining room floor astounded me. This year, they took their design up another notch, mixing tiles and bold color in a 1950's home in Morocco. It was hard to pick just one room that I loved the most, because each room makes a bold statement with different tiled elements, but I went with the dining room -- their Scarab tiles mixed with the graphic floor tile is thinking WAY out of the box. Check out the whole house, here.
photo by Richard Powers | Elle Decor, September 2015
2. Kay Douglass. A dining room (Veranda, September 2011) designed by Kay Douglass topped my "Best Rooms of 2011" at number one, and one of her master bedrooms made #4 on my list in 2012. Kay's style is edited and minimalist with bold pops of color: in 2011 it was bright velvet green curtains that wowed; in 2012, it was an oversized yellow mirror in the master bedroom. This year, her Atlanta home is featured, and each room has a statement color: bright yellow is the highlight in her kitchen, where the Urban Electric pendant that I love from Christina Murphy Pisa's design (in #4 above), also is used above the island (here); velvet peacock-colored pillows standout in her living room as well as her unconventional floor plan for entertaining and conversation. But the room I loved the most was the foyer. One reason, because of the unexpected placement of a sofa in the front hallway, and two, the use of fuchsia as the color statement.
photo by Mali Azima | Veranda, September/October 2015
1. Amber Lewis. Her shop. Her Instagram. Her blog. Her interiors. Her style. They all top my list for 2015. I love her entire portfolio of work -- though the kitchen banquette from her project published in the February 2015 issue of Good Housekeeping is the room here on my list. Not because it's necessary the "best" room of 2015, but because it is a glimpse of the talent from the designer that tops my 2015 list. Her portfolio is cohesive -- all white interiors that establish a background for rooms filled with textures and layers of color and textiles, like kilims, and vintage fabrics, batik prints, antique rugs and cool, colorful art, most of which you can find in her shop (also shown below). It's bohemian, eclectic, modern and clean, California design.
photo by Tessa Neustadt | Good Housekeeping, February 2015
photo by Tessa Neustadt | Shoppe, Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2015